Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

RESPONDENT: Immigration and Naturalization Service
LOCATION: El Paso Natural Gas Co. Headquarters

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 387 US 118 (1967)
ARGUED: Mar 14, 1967
DECIDED: May 22, 1967

Facts of the case


Media for Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 14, 1967 in Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Earl Warren:

Number 440, Clive Michael Boutilier, Petitioner, versus the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Miss Freedman?

Blanch Freedman:

If it please the Court.

The petitioner is an alien of Canadian nationality.

He is 33 years old, was duly admitted to the United States for permanent residence in June 1955 when he was 21.

He has lived in the United States ever since, working -- and working here, always self-supporting.

By occupation, he is a building maintenance operator.

He resides in New York City with his mother, who was a naturalized citizen and stepfather, also a citizen.

His father is dead.

And in addition, he has a large family of married brothers and sisters who lived in this country with their respective spouses and children.

Petitioner appeals from an order of deportation that was upheld by the court below that is the Second Circuit.

The order is predicated upon the combined operation of two provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Law.

Section 241 (a) (1) of the 1952 Act, which renders an alien deportable if at the time of admission he was excludable.

And to Section 212 (a) (4) of the Act which makes excludable an alien who at the time of entry is “afflicted with a psychopathic personality, epilepsy or mental defect.”

Now, the responding charges that the petitioner at the time of entry in 1955 was afflicted with a psychopathic personality namely sexual deviant to which homosexual.

The finding of psychopathic personality rests solely and exclusively upon admissions by petitioner of having engaged in homosexual acts before but principally, after entry.

The evidence of record is, that prior entry in between the ages of 16 and 21, he had have about three to four experiences a year during which time he also engaged in heterosexual experiences.

After entry and up to the time he was directed to appear before the Immigration Service some nine years later, his homosexual activities averaged about four or three times a year.

These admissions were made by the petitioner at the Immigration Service upon interrogation by an immigrant inspector in January 1964 and it is in the form of a question and answer statement.

On this statement of admissions of homosexual activity before but largely after entry, and of no medical evidence of any kind, the United States Public Health Service forthwith certified that at the time of entry, almost ten years prior, petitioner was excludable as an alien afflicted with psychopathic personality namely, homosexual.

At the deportation hearing, petitioner submitted into evidence two medical reports of two imminent psychiatrists, who had examined him personally each a year apart and independently of the other.

The medical evidence of the record establishes that the petitioner is not psychotic; that the petitioner is not afflicted with psychopathic personality.

There is no counter-medical evidence in the case.

On the contrary, respondent admits that it has not proved to furnish evidence that petitioner is psychopathic.

Instead, respondent claims that such medical evidence is not required of it because it construes and applies the language of the statute that is afflicted with psychopathic personality to mean, an alien who indulges in homosexual conduct, even though such conduct is medically unassociated with psychopathic personality or any other medical condition.

The respondent claims that its construction of the law is based upon it speedily that that was the intent of the Congress that enacted the 1952 Immigration Act.

In short, the position of the respondent is that regardless of what the term psychopathic personality may mean to the whole world, to the Congress that enacted it, it was merely a rubric, a rubric by which homosexuals were to be excluded from the country.

Now, petitioners submit that it is this interpretation and application of the statute to him that engenders constitutional infirmity.

As construed and applied, the statute is vague, indefinite and denied petitioner due process of law.

Because one, it contains no boundaries, no standards, no guide for its enforcement.